The word

And Yukel said:

‘One evening I found myself facing death: a young girl with fascinating eyes. By and by (perhaps because I was thinking of a white rose while looking at her) she took the shape of my dreams and her perfume upset me even more. I suggested exchanging her for the rose of life which is red. –- To whom did I suggest this trade? I do not remember. In our last moments everything around us becomes blurred. –- I touched the white rose to my already cold lips. The red rose disappeared. At a distance I thought I saw a mouth and I distinctly heard it say goodbye to me.
   ‘I was never, through summit or scythe, so close to who we were.
   ‘Never, love, did we come so near the truth of the word.’

— Jabés, The Book of Questions (trans. R. Waldrop)

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